Vancouver, WA asked in Divorce and Domestic Violence for New York

Q: How does a divorce work in NY when intimate partner violence is occurring? Questions below.

I have a friend who is in an abusive marriage. His spouse screams profanities at him, throws things at him, and has physically assaulted him. He has video evidence of several of these encounters. The cops have been called on the house more than once. Each time my friend remains calm, but his spouse convinces the police that she is the one being victimized. Nothing has ever been legally pursued.

Here are my questions:

Can my friend use video evidence of the abuse in a divorce trial? Will the videos be useful in convincing the judge to grant a divorce in which my friend does not incur huge financial penalties or other losses? Can screen shots of abusive text messages also be included as evidence?

They have been married for 9 years. I know that in some states a couple must be married for 10 years for certain rules about finances to take effect. Is there anything like this in NY?

What are the obstacles he’ll come up against in this process? What can we expect?

Thank you!

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2 Lawyer Answers
Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Commack, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Your friend needs to file for an Order of Protection in Family Court. Have your friend contact an attorney.

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich
  • Garden City, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If the videos and screenshots are authenticated properly, they can be admitted into evidence. Your friend needs to see an attorney if he wants to file for divorce and show that attorney everything. His alternative, is to go to family court for an order of protection. He can also get an order of protection as part of a divorce.

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